Sri Lanka Reach Quarters On Back Of Dilshan's Heroics

Sri Lanka Reach Quarters On Back Of Dilshan's Heroics
Sri Lanka Reach Quarters On Back Of Dilshan's Heroics
©REUTERS/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (SRI LANKA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET) Picture Supplied by Action Images

Sri Lanka 327-6 (Dilshan 144, Tharanga 133) beat
Zimbabwe 188 (Taylor 80, Dilshan 4-4) by 139 runs
ICC Cricket World Cup Group A, Pallekele

Video Update: Dilshan Magnificent

Tillakaratne Dilshan hit 144 and then took four wickets - including two in as many balls - as Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by 139 runs in their Cricket World Cup Group A game in Pallekele to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Openers Dilshan and Upul Tharanga both scored centuries in compiling a 282-run stand for the opening wicket as Sri Lanka piled on 327 for six before Zimbabwe were dismissed for 188 runs.

It was a good day for opening batsman as Brendan Taylor made 80 to briefly give Zimbabwe a chance of pulling off a rare victory but Dilshan, Muttiah Muralitharan and Angelo Mathews combined to rapidly change the complexion of the game.

Taylor stroked 80 in 72 balls, not allowing the quick bowlers to settle, hiting nine fours and a six and he put on 116 for the first wicket with Regis Chakabva, who made 35 before he was bowled by a Muralitharan doosra.

Mathews then struck to have Tatenda Taibu (4) brilliantly caught by wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara before Taylor clipped Muralitharan to Mahela Jayawardene at midwicket.

Dilshan then came into his own with ball in hand, having Prosper Utesya stumped for four, Craig Ervine (17) trapped in front and Greg Lamb well held by Jayawardene at slip for a golden duck.

He might have had a hat-trick had Jayawardene held a chance offered by Graeme Cremer (14 not out) from the next ball, but Sri Lanka hardly minded as from then on, they steamrollered their way to the win.

Zimbabwe were bowled out in just 39 overs with Dilshan also taking the wicket of Tinashe Panyangara (0) to return four for four.

Earlier, Dilshan hit 144 and Tharanga 133 as the pair hit the second-highest ODI opening partnership of all time before Zimbabwe lost six wickets for 45 in the final 5.2 overs.

Dilshan was the more belligerent of the pair, hitting 16 fours and one six in his 131-ball innings, accelerating quickly which allowed Tharanga to play a more natural, fluent game, in the end hitting 17 fours in 141 deliveries.

Zimbabwe had won the toss and chosen to bowl but they were quickly chasing the ball to all parts of the ground and wasn't unti lthe 45th over that they had a wicket to celebrate as Dilshan and Tharanga set a new World Cup record partnership for the first wicket.

It came when Tharanga was caught by Elton Chigumbura off Christopher Mpofu and five balls later Dilshan went, caught by Tinashe Panyangara off Prosper Utseya.

After the way in which the openers batted, Sri Lanka might have been expecting a score well in excess of 350 but they were pegged back, losing wickets in the closing stages.

Tissara Perera (3), Mahela Jayawardene (9), Angelo Mathews (0) and Chamara Silva (4) all fell in the pursuit of quick runs, leaving Kumar Sangakkara unbeaten on 11 and Thilan Samaraweera on eight.

Mpofu recovered from an early mauling at the hands of Dilshan and Tharanga to return four for 62 from seven overs but any recovery was merely partial as despite dropping four catches in the innings, and at times fielding sloppily, Sri Lanka ran out the comfortable victors.

© Cricket World 2011

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